The first thing you that will strike you, when you step into Maliqa, is its “big” eclectic presence. Everything, from the tables, chairs, wall colors, knick-knacks, pictures, wall hangings, carpets… they all scream “diversity at its best” because nothing matches anything. Every piece of item is ornate and unique in its own identity and therein lies the charm of the place.
“Think of it as the assorted treasures salvaged by an exiled queen”, explained Syed Wafa, co-owner of Maliqa. Spotting a couple of vintage suitcases tucked in a corner, yes, the place does seem like a treasure trove of beloved Persian belongings. Legend has it that the queen, through no fault of hers, had to be exiled and in her hurry to leave her opulent palace, managed only to bring along her prized possessions and some loyal kitchen staff. She then reached a land called Malaysia where she set up this restaurant, determined to share all the gastronomic delights from her faraway homeland with the good people of Malaysia. Hence, “Maliqa” was born: a cosy establishment offering exotic Mediterranean and North Asian cuisine… “Soul Food Fit for a King”! Oh by the way, “Maliqa” is the female derivation of an Arabic term originating from Persia which means “Queen consort”.
Well, you can either accept that storyline in good faith or just put it to the artistic eye and talent of Syed Wafa who personally sourced for every item to furnish Maliqa.
Pirincli Yoghurt & Carbasi
The upper level of the restaurant is reserved for special events. It can accommodate 50 people easily – just perfect for a cosy wedding party, or any party for that matter. There’s a cool “walkway” in the centre, ideal for a grand entrance of the bridal couple, should you choose to hold a wedding reception here.
Our kingly dinner started off with a wholesome Pirincli Yoghurt & Carbasi (RM12.90) which is actually a minced chicken, yoghurt and rice soup. Comfort food at its best, the thick creamy soup was pretty substantial even on its own. The Spicy Seafood Soup (RM10.90) is tomato-based, with fresh succulent pieces of calamari, mussels and prawns in it. Despite its name, I couldn’t detect much spiciness… it’s a soup that will agree with most palates.
Spicy Seafood Soup
Then came the Funghi Fritta (RM13.90) and Bruschetta Beef (RM10.90). Essentially deep-fried mushrooms served with tartar sauce, I found the Funghi Fritta to be just average. The bruschetta fared better with me – the beef bacon, mozzarella cheese and mushrooms on top of well-toasted French bread slices were commendable.
Syed Wafa insisted that we should try his favourite pizza in the house – Pizza Andalusia (RM23.90). A thin-based pizza, the toppings were beef pepperoni, green peppers, black olives and mushrooms. Cheese lovers would term this pizza as “cheese deficient” and I would say it’d taste much better with more cheese.
We then tried 4 items marked with “3 stars” on the menus – these are the signature dishes. The Moussaka (RM23.90) did not disappoint. It was everything a good moussaka should be – layers of smooth tender aubergines and ground beef baked with decadent creamy béchamel sauce. A bit messy to eat, but this classic Greek dish was a big hit with us.
The Lamb Shank (RM39.90) and Maliqa House Steak (RM46.90) did not quite hit the mark. Cooked with fresh vegetables in a tomato cream sauce, the lamb shank, while soft and tender, did not get the full benefits of the herbs and spices added. Presentation-wise, I do think it can be further improved.
Maliqa House Steak
The Maliqa House Steak was overcooked. It actually pained me to see a good piece of steak rendered chewy and hard. The heavy cheesy sauce did not help either.
The Risotto Salmon (RM20.90) was declared “good” by my dining companions as risotto is not a favourite of mine.
Of the 3 desserts served, my favourite was the Apple Crumble (RM8.90). The Tiramisu (RM8.90) was dry and hard in the centre, probably due to insufficient thawing time. The Dessert of the Day (RM7.90) was Yoghurt Panacotta.
Besides the ala carte menu, MALIQA does offer lunch sets from RM9.90 to RM38.90 per head (depending on the main course selected). The lunch sets comes with soup of the day, choice of main course and drinks.
Maliqa Mediterranean Restaurant
No 49, Jalan Medan Setia 1
50490 Damasara Heights, KL
Tel: +603 2095 0002
Mon – Sun: 11.00 am – 3.00 pm, 6.00 pm – 10.30pm
Facebook: Maliqa Mediterranean Restaurant